Genetic improvement of interior Douglas-fir in the B.C. Interior: Progeny tests for West Kootenay (low elevation) seed planning zone

Project number: EP 976.02.04

District: Selkirk Forest District


  • To evaluate the growth and adaptability of local and non-local Douglas-fir families on low elevation sites in the West Kootenay seed planning zone
  • To identify genetically superior parents for first-phase seed orchards
  • To estimate components of genetic variance/covariance, heritabilities and genetic gain for traits relating to tree growth, form, adaptability and wood properties

Experimental design

Genetic entries included in test (256 in total)
Zone Number of wind-pollinated families
West Kootenay Low (<1000 m) 224
West Kootenay High (>1000 m) 8
Shuswap Adams 7
Mica 8
Cariboo Transition 5
Controls 4 operational seedlots
(3 West Kootenay and 1 Idaho)


  • Randomized complete-block design with 8 replicate blocks
  • The genetic entries were randomly subdivided into 8 sets of 32 entries
  • Sets were randomly assigned to positions in blocks
  • Genetic entries were randomly assigned to four-tree row plots within sets
  • Sampling units are individual trees spaced at 2 x 2 m. White stakes identify set corners


  • 1987 plantations established
  • 1989 manual brushing, three-year tree height and condition recorded
  • 1992 manual brushing, six-year tree height and condition recorded
  • 1996 manual brushing and ten-year height and condition recorded
  • 1998 Wilson Creek plantation pruned to breast-height
  • 2000 Duncan Lake location pruned for access
  • 2001 manual brushing and fifteenth year height and diameter assessment. All locations were pruned


Jaquish, B. C. 1994. Poster paper Effects of selection for total height growth on components of shoot elongation in Interior Douglas-fir presented at 1994 meeting of the Western Forest Genetics Association (journal paper in preparation).

Jaquish, B. C. and V.J. Ashley. 1996. Interior Douglas-fir progeny test results and recommendations for first-phase 1.5 generation seed orchards. Progress Report EP 976. B.C. Min. For., Research Branch, Victoria, B.C. 75pp.


Six-year data analysis has been completed and parental breeding values have been estimated by Best Linear Prediction techniques. Grafting for orchard will begin in spring, 1995.